Archive for the ‘Dislikes’ Category

This is my first time ever participating in a fantasy football league. When it started, I was pumped. I was confident, although I don’t really know why. I am the only girl in the league, and Girl Power was coursing through my veins. “I’m going to join this league and kick ass and show all these guys that girls can play fantasy sports too!” I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR!!!!

I am now 0-4, and I hate fantasy football. I don’t know what I was thinking. My team has been crippled by injuries, crybaby Quarterbacks (Jay Cutler, I HATE YOU!!), and bad decision-making on my part (I would be 2-2 right now if I had started and benched different players). Why didn’t anyone tell me that, instead of paying $100 to have a little fun and watch football, I would be paying $100 to have weekly bouts of uncontrolled rage and bitterness? As bad as I feel for myself, I feel worse for Michael, who has to listen to me complain and sulk every weekend. “I’m going to lose this week because my team STINKS. I hate fantasy football. Whatever, I don’t even care anymore. I give up.”

As a testament to my resilient spirit, the day after I claim to be giving up, I go back to the website to retool and try to pick up new players for my team. By Tuesday, I feel like I might have a shot at winning. Then, the weekend rolls around, and I inevitably suffer another crushing defeat. I don’t know how much longer I can keep bouncing back like this.

The worst part about being a fantasy football loser is that, instead of disproving a gender stereotype, I have reinforced it! I wanted to have a respectable showing in the hopes that the other guys in the league wouldn’t simply think, “Oh, I’m playing Rachel this week—that’s a guaranteed win.” Unfortunately, that is absolutely the case. I have failed women everywhere.

Sorry, ladies!


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Defying Logic

In a couple of months, I’m going to turn 27, which means I’m closing in on 30. Grey hairs continue to sprout out of my head (and I continue to pull them out). I go to sleep early. As far as I’m concerned, I’m starting to get old. So why, then, does the phrase, “With age comes wisdom” NOT apply to me? Why do I continue to do things that defy logic?

Case in point: I woke up on the morning of September 14 and made the shocking realization that I might have missed my friend Nate’s birthday—something I have never done in the 15+ years we have been friends. The problem was, I wasn’t completely sure if I had missed it or not. Was his birthday on the 19th? Or maybe it’s on the 16th? I couldn’t remember. When I got out of bed, I went into a drawer in the office and retrieved a small spiral notebook that I’ve had for quite a while. Beneath the Simpsons cover, it was about half full of random information: directions to friends’ houses (from before GPS’s existed), phone numbers (in case I ever lost a phone), and random factoids. The name of the Japanese artist who painted The Great Wave—Katsushika Hokusai. A list of all the movies David Fincher had directed (as previously stated, this notebook goes back to much nerdier times). Most importantly, this notebook contains a list of friends’ and family members’ birthdays. Or, I should say, contained.

I opened the notebook that morning to find that all of the old pages had been torn out. All that remained were some notes from a book weeding project I had been doing at a previous job. Obviously, I didn’t think the notebook contained very relevant information anymore, and perhaps I wanted to start fresh with the second half of the book. But, much to my surprise, I had even torn out the page with all of the birthdays! WHY would I do this? Did I think that I would be able to remember all of them? Impossible. Did I tear the page out but file it away into my accordion folder? Perhaps in the “Miscellaneous” folder or the “Very Important Things” folder? Nope. Did I transcribe the list into a Word document and save it on my computer? Nuh-uh. I have no idea why I did what I did. I can’t imagine that I actually threw it out, but where the heck would I have put it?

I love to organize and re-organize, but sometimes I think I do more harm than good. Every once in a while, I’ll move an item to a location that I think is more logical, but wind up not being able to find it months later. Where should I keep this hat? Well, you wear a hat on your head, and ‘head’ rhymes with ‘bed,’ so I think I’ll keep it under the bed. Right next to the peanut butter, which goes on bread.

Time to start fresh, I guess. So, when is your birthday again?

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Last week, Michael and I went to see The Dark Knight Rises. However, this post is not a review of the movie, but rather a review of the movie theater that we visited. We went to an AMC Dine-in Theater, and if there is a stupider thing that exists in the world, I don’t know what it is.

I will say, my first impressions of the theater were pretty good. Upon entering, there were no ticket booths or humans anywhere – just three touch-screen terminals for buying tickets. It was cool in a technological, computers-are-taking-over kind of way. Admittedly, one of the three machines was out of order. We were there pretty early in the day, so it didn’t cause a problem, but I could see it becoming more of a hassle when the place is actually crowded.

After picking up our tickets, we went through the doors into what looked like a hotel lobby. Fancy light fixtures, ambient lighting, couches, easy chairs, and flat screen tv’s scattered throughout. On the far wall, instead of display cases of candy, rotating hot dogs, and Slushee machines, there was a giant bar. The place didn’t even smell like popcorn, which seemed amazing (not to say I dislike the smell). Again, very classy. At this point, I was still pretty impressed.

Then, we went into the theater, and that’s where things started to go south. On the positive side, the seats are giant and very comfortable, and there are fewer of them than there are in regular theaters. In front of the seats, there are tabletops for people to eat on. On the edge of the tabletop is a string of yellow lights, like the ones that light up the aisles on the floor of the theater. When I sat down, the lights came right below the screen in my field of vision. Contrary to my assumption that they would eventually go off, they stayed on for the entire movie! That alone was reason enough to never go back to that theater. But, things only got better (read: worse).

So, before the previews started, we perused the extensive menu. Mixed drinks, sliders, Thai chicken salads, blackened tuna, pasta alfredo…basically, if you can order it at Applebees, it was probably on this menu. This got me thinking. What if you hated fish and the person next to you ordered the blackened tuna? Beyond that, there are the logistics of the whole thing. HOW does one eat a giant plate of pasta alfredo when they’re trying to watch a movie? Isn’t it distracting? What if the person next to you is a noisy eater? Wouldn’t that be gross? My questions went on like this for a number of minutes.

Right before the movie started, a guy came into our row and sat down one seat away from me. The attendant came up to him, and do you know what he ordered? THE FISH AND CHIPS. Luckily, I’m not bothered by the fish smell, and his food didn’t end up smelling anyway…but what I realized next was: the simple fact that there was someone next to me eating fish and chips during the movie TOTALLY PISSED ME OFF. There’s just something inherently wrong with the whole situation.

To top it all off, this guy didn’t just eat fish and chips. He started with a small bag of popcorn and a soda. Then, he had his fish and chips. Then, DURING THE MOVIE, he rang for the waitress (there is a little alert button on the table) and ordered two more bags of popcorn and another soda. Not only was it distracting for her to serve him during the movie, but beyond that—I did not come to the movies to watch this shining example of the American appetite gorge himself on food for the entire 2 hours and 40 minutes of the movie. If we were in a regular theater and he had one of those giant buckets of popcorn, I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about it. But, it was something about the refills (and the fish and chips) that really got under my skin.

Bottom line: there are some foods that work at the movies, and some that don’t. Popcorn works. Candy works. Pretzel bites work. Even a hotdog or one of those gross mini pizzas can work. Thai chicken salad doesn’t work. Blackened tuna doesn’t work. Anything that has to be eaten on a plate with a fork and knife does not work.

On the plus side, the movie was great. But I’ll die before I ever go back to another dine-in movie establishment.

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Rita’s Italian Ice and I go way back. I still have vivid memories of driving there with my friend Emily during our high school lunch period. Back in those days, we had little concern for our own nutrition, and would often make a meal out of ices or gelatos, with the occasional addition of a cheese pretzel if we were especially hungry. Way back when, we were such big Rita’s fans that we went so far as to keep a running list of all the flavors we had tried throughout the season. We might have even rated them, but I can’t be too sure about that.

Over the years, I settled into my favorite flavor: Mint Chocolate Chip. Not your typical Italian ice, this is a cream-based flavor and, to me, is one of the most delicious frozen desserts in the world. These days, I don’t make it to Rita’s nearly as much as I used to. So, when I do, there’s no question of what flavor I’m going to order.

Yesterday, on my way home from work, I decided on a whim to stop into Rita’s to pick up some ices for Michael and myself. I had never been to this particular Rita’s before, and was quite impressed to see that it was a sit-down establishment. However, the novelty of the space quickly washed away as I was greeted with a paltry selection of 12 flavors, and Mint Chocolate Chip was nowhere to be found!

Not only did they not have Mint Chocolate Chip, but they didn’t have any of the creamy flavors (fudge brownie, cookies & cream, piƱa colada)—they were all just straight-up fruit flavors! When I was paying for my second-string ice (mango and pear), I asked the girl, “Do you usually have Mint Chocolate Chip?” To my horror she said, “No, but if you want, you can sign up with your email address and then we’ll send you an alert the day we have that flavor.”

This post is already pretty long, so let me get to my point: Imagine going into a clothing store to buy a pair of pants and being told, “Oh, we only have pants on certain days, but we can email you the day they’re in so you can drop what you’re doing to come and buy them.” What kind of business model is this? Mint Choco Chip was one of their staple flavors. You can’t eliminate it, just like you can’t eliminate pants. If they want to cycle some flavors in and out, why not start with Swedish Fish or Cotton Candy? You know, the weirder stuff. I guarantee that no one is counting on Cotton Candy always being there, but I can’t be the only one whose favorite flavor is good old Mint Choco Chip.

To add insult to injury, the Pineapple flavor I got for Michael tasted more like chemicals than fruit, which is something I’ve NEVER experienced in all of my Rita’s consumption. What’s going on with you, Rita’s? Unfortunately, I think you’re losing yourself. Do yourself a favor. Forget all of this email/text/Twitter technology nonsense, and go back to selling quality ices. Oh, and bring back Mint Choco Chip.

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Women, don’t hate me.

I have worked in seven libraries thus far, some for short periods of time and some for longer. If I remember correctly, three of them were run—from the top of the ladder to the bottom—solely by women. No guys as far as the eye could see. I don’t think there is a discernible difference between the all-female libraries and the co-ed libraries in terms of success or level of service to the community. However, the sorority libraries usually have a different working environment.

Most notably, the women can get pretty catty. More catty, I suspect, than they normally would be if there were some guys around to even out the workforce. As a rule, I don’t speak negatively about any library staff members while in the confines of the library. Usually (except for some cases), I don’t talk about them to anyone outside the library, either, because I like to separate work life from regular life. So, when I have to listen to one woman talk to another woman about a third woman who apparently didn’t buy good enough break room snacks with the library’s cash allowance, I get annoyed.

What shocked me even more was an instance that happened a few weeks ago. I substitute at a library on an as-needed basis and have only worked there a handful of times. I went to the break room to have dinner one night, and these two other women were in there talking smack about another woman (surprise). Not only did they continue their conversation when I sat down, but one of the women actually went out of her way to fill me in on this other chick and why she sucks. Number one: I don’t care!! Number two: You barely know me! I’ve worked in your library for, like, 20 total hours! Why would you openly gossip about your coworkers to a complete stranger? It’s totally unprofessional and, to me, makes the organization as a whole look bad.

So, to all the girls out there, I say: SHUT UP. To all the guys: please come work in libraries so these ladies act a little less crazy!

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Recently, I’ve started to pay more attention to tv commercials which, I think, is the opposite of what advertisers want me to be doing. Most of the time, I think people actively try to avoid watching commercials, either by changing the channel, getting up to get a snack, or conversing with a significant other or tv-watching buddy. But, if you sit and actually listen to the statements that are made in these ads, it’s amazing how idiotic, pointless, and nonsensical some of them are. In a way, it’s insulting. It implies that it doesn’t matter whether or not the commercial makes any sense, because we’re going to buy this stuff anyway. I have a few examples that I found particularly appalling and will share in my new blog installment, Commercial Nonsense. With some examples, I’ll break down the quote into non-advertisement language to further illustrate the stupidity of its message. Some other quotes need no translation because they are that meaningless.

“The first step on that road [to happiness] may well be a bowl of soup.” —Campbell’s Soup
Translation: Canned soup is going to bring you happiness in life.

“No one really gets the apple.” —Healthy Choice
False. I think plenty of people “get” the apple.

“Do you dream in chocolate?” —Lindt Lindor Truffles
No. No one does.

So, the next time you’re watching tv, pay more attention to the commercials and count how many times they insult your intelligence. It’s fun, in a sad, I’m-ashamed-of-American-culture kind of way.

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Trader Joe’s

I have a love-hate relationship with Trader Joe’s. I love them because I can buy things like dark chocolate-covered edamame (yum!) and peruse their wide variety of inexpensive wine. I hate them because the stores are usually tiny and filled with hippies. Normally, I don’t really have a problem with hippies, but when I’m food shopping it’s a different story. Their attitudes are way too laid back for the crowded grocery store environment. For instance, I was slowly making my way around this fruit display. There was only one lane leading around it, and this group of three women had a cart parked right in the middle of the lane. Apparently they had just bumped into each other because they were hugging and chit-chatting, totally oblivious to the fact that they were blocking everybody’s way. I asked the first woman to please move her cart, which she did, but even as I made my way past her, she STILL had to snap her other two friends back into reality, because they were still talking, and still in my way.

Then, I made my way towards the trail mix. This young couple was, literally, cuddling, hugging, and kissing right in front of it! WHAT??!! How are you that unaware of the fact that you are in a crowded grocery store and a person with a shopping cart is standing behind you shooting death stares right at you? This went on for probably two minutes, which felt like an eternity. I considered asking them to move, but I knew my tone would have been less than friendly, so I just stood there and waited for them to move along.

To be fair, I did visit the Westfield Trader Joe’s at 5:30 on a Saturday evening. I was on my way home from work, and thought it would be quiet since people like to do fun things on Saturday night. But, apparently, visiting the specialty grocery store is a lot of people’s idea of fun. If I ever want more chocolate-covered edamame, I’ll have to try going early in the morning on a Tuesday or something. Or, maybe I’ll just stick with Whole Foods. It’s a little more corporate, but after spending time with those hippie boneheads, that’s totally fine with me. Plus, the aisles are much wider!

At the end of the day, I’m still not 100% sure if these people really are that clueless and inconsiderate, or if I’m kind of an A-hole. If anything, maybe it’s a 80-20 split. But seriously, hippies, stop making out in front of the trail mix.

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